The Wizards will come home tonight after failing to close out another game on the road against the Toronto Raptors. They’ll meet the struggling New York Knicks at the Verizon Center. The game tips off at 7:00 PM.
Key Match Up:
Nene is coming off his most disappointing game of the season, scoring just 10 points on 5 for 14 shooting from the field. The Raptors did a great job in nullifying Nene on the floor, forcing him to shoot 15-17 jump shots all night long which isn’t an area you’d like to see Nene take the majority of his shots from. Given his age and lack of athleticism, Nene will inevitably struggle against the Amir Johnson’s of the world, but tonight he’ll likely be matched up with Andrea Bargnani in the post.
Even though Bargnani will never live up to his potential, he has played better with the Knicks, averaging nearly 15 points per game on 48% shooting. His ability to stretch the floor is uncanny, especially for a player of his size and position. NBA pundits love Bargnani for all the wrong reasons, but I think he’s gotten a bad rap over the past few seasons. Nene will have an advantage over Bargnani tonight, who’s defense isn’t necessarily his suit. With that said, the Wizards will have to go small tonight to guard Carmelo Anthony who’ll likely play the 4 spot for New York. Martell Webster will probably take that role, with Bradley Beal playing small forward in spurts.
- According to ESPN, the Wizards have lost their last 12 of 13 games against the Knicks.
- Jan Vesely reportedly suffered a back injury last night. Trevor Ariza likely won’t play, but Al Harrington will probably remain a game time decision.
- New York will be without Tyson Chandler and Ray Felton.
- According to Stats.NBA.COM, the Knicks have a worse offensive and defensive rating than the Wizards. New York is currently 3-8.
Tonight will be the second game of a back to back for the Wizards, and judging from last night’s collapse, they’re obviously fatigued from playing 4 games in 5 nights. Randy Wittman has preached about going .500 on back to backs, and for the Wizards to do so, they’ll have to pick up a win at home tonight..
New York is struggling mightily, but they’ve had more rest than the Wizards and have done a better job playing on the road than at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks will go as Carmelo Anthony goes, so the Wizards will obviously have to tighten up their defense. John Wall is coming off his best game of the season, and the Knicks don’t really have the personnel needed to stop him from repeating that performance tonight. The Wizards will also have the upper hand down low, as Nene and Marcin Gortat have the capability to dominate New York’s bigs.
Washington will win tonight and I think they’ll win by a large margin. They have too many positional advantages not to compete against the Knicks tonight.